Thursday, March 11, 2004

"Your mother has this crazy idea that gambling is wrong.
Even though they say it's okay in the Bible."
Homer Simpson

Damn, I love poker. Reading about it, studying it, thinking about it, and best of all, playing it.

In the interest of not cutting even *more* into my playing time, I'm going to make this short and sweet (at least, by my standards) and get into the Best of Poker LinkageTM and go jump on Party. After my dismal showing in the tourney last evening, I have a serious itch to play, and I'm going to scratch it.

Speaking of which, thanks for the shoutouts per the World Poker Bloggers Tournament II last evening at TruePoker. There were plenty of valid complaints (fast all-ins sucked), but in their favor, they did bump the starting stack size up to t1500 from t1000 after I emailed the request.

There are a ton of great posts about last evening's epic battle - next time you and a beer are sharing quality time at the computer, take the time to read through the links on the right. If you like poker, that is. If you don't, what the hell are you even doing here?

Because I didn't last long enough to personally write a trip report (Grubby took me down early), I simply must insist that you visit Pauly, at the Tao of Poker. A superb writeup of last night's tournament, and not just because he said many nice things about me (none of which is true), but because he's an excellent writer. He does write for a living, after all. There's simply too many funny things to quote, but I'll allow myself this one gem:

"What's going on?" she insisted.
"Yo, Mom! I just bluffed with The Hammer!"
"What did you win?"

Kudos, my man. Go read about Pauly's wild rush and tilting bullying at the end.

Anyway, congrats to Otis for winning (XL Party Poker jacket!) and a big hoist of the Guinness to everyone else in the money.

For the record:

1. $196 Otis B Dart - Up for Poker
2. $140 ChrisHal - Chris Halverson
3. $112 PaulyMcGrupp - Tao of Poker
4. $84 STICKandMOVE - Stick and Move
5. $28 FeliciaLee - Felicia

Nobody above finished in the money in the PokerGrub Classic I, so it's wide-open on the career earnings list.

I just saw that second place finisher Chris Halverson got his writeup posted, so go visit.

Felicia is running the third tourney so if you have a poker blog, and you want to play, please email her ASAP. The tourney is the Sunday, the 21st, and you must pre-register. Hit her site for more details - time is running out.

Time for me to link up and get going.

Per my Howard Stern - poker post the other day, here is the full audio segment (mp3 - click and listen) of Robert Varkonyi on the Stern show - funny stuff, especially at the end when Howard and Artie discuss quality starting hands. You will enjoy, trust me.
SOOOOTED is a strong hand!

Hrm, not sure how to describe this trip report to Vegas. A poor man's "Tiltboys" perhaps?
The Itch

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Poker Perspectives was posting again, and even played in the tourney last nite. More importantly, Maudie built us a forum to chat in.

Anyone thinking of joining the poker bloggers, please do so. It's free and easy at Blogger.com. And hell, they let poker-playing drinkers like me write whatever I want. What more could you ask for?

Best of all, here are two new poker bloggers, one that has been surreptitiously posting about poker for a while, and the other is brand new.

Please go visit and encourage The Neurotic Fishbowl Archives

Wow, I've also inspired cracksmokers.org to start a poker blog! Woohoo! Now that the crackheads are online, I truly am the Johnny Appleseed of poker bloggers.

Last, but never least, MeanGene is letting his brother post to his blog, one in which he actually admits that he's lost more than he's won, and why.

Here's a great RGP post about LA players in the Commerce Club - I think the PAPER BAG-MAN might be Hdouble.


Am I mistaken, or do the weirdest people frequent the Commerce Club,
in L.A.?
I've only been there three times, but here's a sample of people I've
been with or spotted at the tables (I hope I'm not describing any of
the RGP-ers).

BEE-HIVE LADY: About 70 years old, with the most outlandish hairdo (or
wig) I've ever seen. It looked like a giant birds' nest. Imagine Marge
Simpson's hair, but double the size. The ‘do' was covered with nets,
and filled with pins and pearl-tipped needles, and looked like a hairy
Leaning Tower of Pisa. When she looked at her cards, she couldn't tip
her head forward, becasue that would have shifted her center of
gravity foward, and she probably would have tipped over on her face;
she had to cup the cards in her hands and bring them up to her face.

PAPER BAG-MAN: This guy had a paper sack over his head, like the guy
on the old Gong Show. I saw him sitting at a table as I walked through
to my seat. The other people at the table were tossing in chips and
acting like everything was normal. I though maybe it was a joke
(taking the poker-face thing to the extreme) and he'd remove the bag:
but I glanced over at the table a few times, and he still had it on
for at least a half hour, and then was gone.

NEWSPAPER GUY: At my table this Asian guy was reading an Asian
newspaper during the hands. He never put the paper down. He'd glance
at his pocket cards, make his bets, and check the flop, etc. but he
kept reading, even when the betting was robust. Multi-tasking I guess.
And doing OK -- he won a decent amount of hands; and then I guess he
finished the paper, because he got up, folded the paper, tucked it
under his arms, gathered his chips, and left.

FOOD DUET: Two guys, in their 50s I guess, with Jackie Gleason
physiques, were both eating at the table (you can order food at
Commerce, and the waitress brings it to the table on treys they set up
on little wheeled tables of some kind). These guys got into an
argument over who's ordered the best meal for the money, insulting
each other over their menu choices, really taking it seriously (like
the Road Rage movie "Changing Lanes." But their argument was over
whether or not the home-made French Fries sucked or not. So what do
these gastronomic gladiators do? Fist fight? No. Food Fight? No.
Belching Fight? Yes!!! Each trying to outdo the other with awful,
disgusting belches. It's kinda funny in retrospect, but wasn't then.
It's hard enough concentrating on the flow of the game, without
hearing gurgling stomach noises. The Dealer rolled her eyes in
disgust, but didn't say anything else to them (I guess there's no
Casino rules to cover noisy regurgations). They stopped after a while,
but when they both ordered more food from the waitress, I gave up, and
went to another table…

Are things (and people) like this normal? Or did I just 'get lucky'

Here are a couple news articles to whet your appetite. Yes, poker is still red-hot.
Poker ace turns math skill into riches

"I try to follow the wisdom of the Bible," he said. "I like the book of Proverbs, because if I've got a problem, I don't want to get uptight. Whatever happens out there, it's just one day - one step - of the rest of your life."


Know When To Fold 'Em Tales from a secret life in poker:

Championship poker players, once known only to their peers, have become quasi-celebrities. Last year, the improbably named Chris Moneymaker, who had previously only played poker online and with his family until he qualified, won $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker with a personal investment of only $40. (Incidentally, he got part of his airfare from a man named David Gamble.)

There's a bunch more where that came from, but I must go play.

Thanks for reading, I'll blog a sober decent post tomorrow. I've gotta go play on Party Poker.

I'll leave you with these two gems to keep in mind, regarding pre-flop play from TwoPlusTwo:

"You should be cold calling so infrequently that you can't even remember the last time that you did so".

"Cold calling raises with medium and small suited connectors is the fast track to the poorhouse. Yes, even with 3 others in the pot."

Also, per my comments in my last post (thanks BG!), how can you know what "correct play" is without knowing pot odds? Can learning positive expectation be learned without odds?

Remember, Hold em is a post-flop game.

Thanks again to all the great bloggers out there.
From Anisotropy:

"It's always great to read something about other people's take on the game and about the swings they go through. It's even better to have those same people supporting you when you are trying to do the same frustrating things they are. Smart people, smart writing and great support."

Link of the Day:
Do Not Taunt Butt Pillow
After people at work laughed at her hemorrhoid relief doughnut, Melanie Loomos dedicated her life to bringing peri-anal relief to the people. The result was Butt Pillow, a present for your ass.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Tourney Results Below:

(Full post coming Thursday evening)

Whew, finally made it home from work in time to play in the World Poker Blogger Tour II at True Poker.

Less than an hour and a half till tourney time! Go visit Felicia's site for all the over/under smack talk.

Otis won!
Wear that Party Poker jacket proudly. Please email me your address.

Too much fun. I can't believe Grubby didn't make the money.
Thanks to everyone who played. Here's the winner's list - check out their blogs on the right.

1. $196 Otis B Dart - Up for Poker
2. $140 ChrisHal - Chris Halverson
3. $112 PaulyMcGrupp - Tao of Poker
4. $84 STICKandMOVE - Stick and Move
5. $28 FeliciaLee - Felicia

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

"If you're no longer a novice, but not a professional player, game selection may be the key to winning money. Without using any selection, you'll probably lose dramatically. By using selection moderately, you'll probably lose a little or break even. But by using game selection prudently and consistently, you probably will be a winner from now on."
Mike Caro

Can you guess where the best games are? Of course, you can.

Blogger went down tonight. Lost my original post.
VERY pissed.

Plus work is kicking my ass.

So now, be prepared for an uber-Guinness-fueled poker rant.

If you are new here, please bookmark and check out the poker blogs on the right. Great writing and insight. What a crazy crew the poker bloggers are. Let's see here; we have a cop, dot-com millionaires, a surgeon, an actor/writer, a chemical engineer, a playwright, several obligatory puter programmers, an ex-Wall Street Trader, several online poker pro's (unemployed), an aircraft traffic controller, a lawyer, a comic, a couple students, a hilarious fat guy from Texas and a professional bioterrorist vegan. That's a pretty damn interesting, diverse group of people, and that's not everyone.

So thanks for reading. Lots of good poker stuff to point out if Blogger allows it.
Sorry for any attitude - I'm just making this up as I drink go along, damnit.

Hrm, poker might have jumped the shark today: Robert Varkonyi was on Howard Stern this morning, hawking some crazy video.

It is a teaching tool using some celebs, a few from the Sopranos, to show how to play hold-em. I see he has that annoying Willie Garson on there also from Celebrity Poker Showdown.

Also Stern and his cronies were helping us out by teaching the fish that any 2 suited was a good starting hand, specifically mentioning 5 2 suited. They had some other bad advice also, dont remember any more specifics.

Oh yeah another one was to stay in with any pocket pair even deuces no matter how much betting their was preflop, cause you never know, a deuce could come on the flop. I think he even complained about a hand from his Friday game where he folded 92 preflop only to see two 2's on the flop.

Gotta love it.

Ok, maybe I was wrong on the Jump the Shark thing. Perhaps it's just more of the same, Poker as Cultural Juggernaut. Either way, Stern has been playing in Atlantic City. Damnit, I'd love to hear a Party Poker radio ad on Stern's show.

Nothing against PokerStars, but I loaded up some 3.6 tonite and the average number of players seeing the flop on all THREE full tables was 30% or less. Please, load up Pokertracker yourself and see the cold, hard numbers. Party Poker has about seventy 3.6 tables and it sure ain't 30% to the flop there. It's the heart of the poker Gold Rush and you're refusing to mine in the main vein. Think game selection, damnit.

I don't understand poker players who haven't learned that schooling fish is a good thing.

Saw this interesting thread on 2+2 - "Will Party Poker go the way of Paradise Poker and lose market share?"

I much prefer Paradise to Party/Empire; it feels more like real poker. I'm sick of sitting at a table with 9 morons at Party that continually seems to suck straights and flushes out of the river with their 62o to beat my AA that turns into losing trips.

Unbelievable. You're mad that there's bad players at Party?

Soooo many posts like that, so little time. Oh, all right, I'll share yet another regurgitated message board rant about how online poker is fixed or rigged. This guy (per usual) is a winning player in brick and mortar card rooms, yet just can't beat Party Poker or Poker Stars. I wonder how many of these I've read over the years?

I guess I am just a lousy player, but I cannot take it anymore. I win
consistently in areal casinos and cannot win shit in these rigged online
poker dumps.

I am sick of losing with the best hand time and time again by some
miracle river card. Sick and tired of having to deal with incompentant
support staff. Sick of always getting my pocket kings or aces beaten out by
3-8 off time and time and time and time again.

I am pissed off that it is so easy to deposit and take it out of my bank
account. But, it it such a hassle when I try to get my money out.

Why in the fuck would anyone put up with this online poker shit. Just go
play at a real casino. Atleast there odds are you wont be getting
screwed out of your money by some greedy ass scam site, and colluders.
Maybe you guys are really really good and can even push out a small win
rate even though all odds are against you. Sorry I am just not that
LUCKY. It is hard enough to win let alone having to fight tons of
bullshit factors against you.



And yes this is how I really feel!

LOL, priceless.
The most appropriate response:

Online poker values different skills and is very different than casino
poker, y'know. Or maybe you don't....

Some players lose at poker simply because they refuse to get better. Saying "change the deck" or "the game is rigged" is easier than spending months and years to improve your game.

Yup. Of course, I'm personally too paranoid of collusion to play high-limit online poker, but I've been beating the low-mid limits for so long that I know, even if there are cheaters playing these stakes, they need a new hobby.

Looking back a year ago, Party Poker had nearly 3,000 players. Early December, 22,000 players. And we thought THAT was insane. 45,000 and due for another spike...I suppose I'll cease documenting this exponential growth someday, but for now I'm going to beat my damn drum. You guys truly don't know how lucky you are.

Time for some poker linkage:

First up, David Ross, Playing online for a living week 45. Yet another superb post. He was asked later about his starting hand requirements and he replied that he primarily uses Abdul's. Two snippets per David:

That put my final total for the week at $4,262, my 2nd biggest week ever. I have averaged over $2,500 / wk for the last 8 weeks, making even more certain that the fresh blood has made the Party/Empire games softer.

Poker Tracker has also identified 5 or 6 regular opponents that I have played over 10 sessions with, that are significant winners. Until recently I had all of them pegged as recklessly aggressive. Clearly weak tight is not the way to play shorthanded poker.

The latter was for Grubby's benefit.
Go read Grubby's, poker playing sister's post:
Good Beat, ½ Beat and Bad Beat - Great stuff per usual.

The Poker Babe gives a first hand account of being a prop poker player at the Bike, in LA.

One of the questions I get asked most is: What is a prop player? Considering the recent boom in poker, it makes sense that many people are not aware of what the job would entail.

Interesting stuff per being a prop. I still wish she would write more like Linda at PokerWorks or Felicia.

Article about WSOP heart-throb, Russ Boyd, and future owner of rakefree.com.
The unabridged version of what went down with pokerspot.com.
Russ “Dutch” Boyd to Open a New Online Card Room

MS Sunshine has the abridged version.
PokerSpot and Dutch

How many of you know that the poker room, Doyle Brunson, endorsed back in the day, Highlands, was hacked and went belly-up many years ago? And that Doyle himself paid off *every* player even though he had no obligation to do so.

Times, they have changed. Poker is mainstream now. There aren't many art forms that America has invented outside of jazz music and Alcoholics Anonymous. Documenting the meteoric rise of Texas Hold Em has been ton of fun. I'll keep blogging until we jump the shark.

I keep babbling about PokerTracker. I know my fellow poker bloggers have listened and grabbed it, but again, I can't stress enough how important it is. I guarantee that "Dude" isn't using it - that's my testimonial.
Go read: PokerTracker forums.

If I ever post under a domain, I'll do screen shots and a full tutorial for PokerTracker.

Segue: poker news:

A classic "Poker is Red Hot" article featuring: Mimi Rogers, James Woods, Clint Eastwood, Jon Favreau, Tobey Maguire, Ron Livingston, Ben Affleck, Gabe Kaplan, Leonardo di Caprio, David Schwimmer, Chris Ferguson, Annie Duke, Amir Vahedi and Daniel Negreanu.
Celebrity participation brings poker upscale

Sadly, no mention of Wil Wheaton.

My local paper:
Poker comes into play
As the game gets more popular, more friends are gathering to hold 'em and to fold 'em

"It's just the biggest explosion of interest I have ever seen," says North Avondale resident Rick Steiner, who has won six national poker championships and who now spends most of his time producing Broadway shows.

Of course, there was a follow-up article titled:
Is home poker against the law?

Yes, I'm still thinking about running another large tourney. Looking at April.

More college campuses catching hold em fever, this time in New Hampshire:
Poker, Celts and daily diaries

And finally. a behind the scenes look at Binion's Horseshoe negotiations:
Downtown: Offer Horseshoe Sale

Lawyers were scrambling late Friday night to salvage the proposed sale of Binion's Horseshoe to MTR Gaming Group and the World Series of Poker to Harrah's Entertainment.

Alrighty then, time to link up the brand new poker blogs.

as the tank turns

we ordered pizza and fixated ourselves to the counch to watch the thursday night line up. i have to say, donald trump is one smart man.

The Poker School Club Blog. First post!

If you are not interested in Ultra High limit poker then go find a checkers blog and leave us big dogs to our business.

It ain't Gambling

It's an excellent point. It ain't gambling.

Internet poker grew by more than 600 percent, both in number of players and volume of money bet, between the end of 2002 and the end of 2003.

Moving back to old-school bloggers, Pauly had a great write-up about the NYC poker blogger home game.

I let out a monster sigh of relief. I almost got an erection stacking up my chips because it was such an amazing bluff. There's nothing like the adrenaline rush that seizes your entire body after you bluffed at a huge pot in poker... and won.

Want to know why online poker is superior to B&M?
LA player, Hdouble, lists his top five reasons without even mentioning smelly people. Not in a good way, smelly.
The Education of A PartyPoker Player

1. Multi-table play: playing multiple tables allows you to play against worse players with a much lower variance, since you more than double the number of hands you can play.
2. Rake: in LA, the casinos are just raking the hell out of the players without conscience.
3. Convenience: I posted about this in my last post, but the drive and wait time to get to the B&M really add up.
4. Table Selection: In LA, you sit where they put you.
5. Player skill: At the $6-12 level, most of the players I face are decent players.

K, I'm done ranting. To anyone who read this far, thank you. I'm sorry for the bigass honking post, but I picked blogging over playing tonight. That was probably a mistake, I know.

Damn Guinness. And Blogger.

Per the World Poker Blogger Tour Redux, we are still on for tomorrow night. I emailed Support about hats, last-longer bets and increasing our starting chip stack to 1,500. I'm not holding my breath. Sadly, MeanGene and FatGuy can't defend their titles. How convenient. :)

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to come and read this poker blog. That makes it worthwhile to come on here and ramble every night. Also, it's too freaking cool to see someone take my humble advice, jump on Party Poker and win immediately. That's the best. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me.

Link of the Day:
Tell a Friend He's Stupid Today
"People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities," according to Justin Kruger and David Dunning of the Cornell University department of psychology. "This overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled ... suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it."

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Party Poker Blog

"God doesn't play dice."
Albert Einstein

What a crazy weekend on Party Poker. I'm truly enjoying the new software update (this player search feature is going to make me A LOT of money) and the insane, loose, aggressive games. Sadly, I lost on both Friday and Saturday evenings, but I don't mind one damn bit. One of my 3.6 tables last evening had an average pot size of $85-90 for nearly 40 minutes!

Oh the humanity.

Seriously, anyone playing on UB, Stars, or Paradise right now is profoundly and deeply delusional. You are seriously missing the boat. Get your poker playing butt onto Party Poker tonight.

Let's put it this way: any poker playing newbies out there: I just counted over one hundred and fifty, 50 cent/$1 tables on Party. 150+ on a Sunday! Go buyin for $50 and play 50.1! You can run a tiny bankroll up, even if you have only read Poker for Dummies.

150+ tables on Party. Let's go check Stars, shall we?


With about a dozen short-handed tables. How can anyone play anywhere else? It amazes me to read on poker message boards or even my fellow bloggers that they play on Stars, or UB, or Paradise. WHY? Why not play in the biggest aquarium? Why not play with ALL THESE FISH?

If you are playing on another site, please take my advice and move your game to Party. You *will* thank me. Sign up with bonus code IGGY to get a 20% deposit bonus up to $100 or just sign up, it doesn't matter - I just know you'll be shocked to see how loose and crazy the games are there. I hear it over and over.

Dead Money = AlCantHang finally played at Party for the first time yesterday. According to PokerTracker, he is winning a little over 16 big bets per 100 hands. He's one of many. So again, if you wanna give me a handout and use my bonus code of IGGY as a small tip for writing this damn blog everyday, I am deeply appreciative.

The Dude left this in my comments (comments, rule!):

Dipping my toe into the online hold 'em waters by playing pokerstars before party poker ruined me in that i can't stand the party poker interface. even the new one, its just gross compared to pokerstars!

Um, Dude, I don't play online poker because of the interface. That's just flat out silly. I could care less about the damn software - I care A LOT about game and table selection and so should you. If you want to play on a site that has FOUR tables compared to 150 because of the freaking interface, knock yourself out. But you are costing yourself money and lacking some basic understanding of how to earn some bucks playing poker.

I play at Party for the FISH. I have fourteen damn poker sites installed on this puter because back in the day, you had to scramble around with your fish radar and hunt, hunt, hunt. Nobody gave a damn about the software. I've said it a million times in this blog - PokerStars has the best software and customer support. They just lack 30,000 FISH. Which is more profitable to the discerning player, a nice looking interface or 30,000 FISH?

One other example and I'll let it go. Felicia, esteemed poker blogger and veteran, has spoken several times about her general disdain of online poker. She barely plays online. And I understand and respect her opinions on said matter. While chatting with her one day, she mentioned how she, in particular, hates the Party software but IF she chose to play alot online, she would play at . . . PARTY POKER. It's a no brainer.

End Party rant. I'm not shilling, really, (sign up with IGGY on Party damnit! :) - I'm just astounded that some people think this way. It boggles the mind.

Anyway, since there have been several posts about session dependant thinking, allow me to pontificate on this for a bit. Especially since I've lost the last two evenings, in excellent game conditions. This is apropos, albeit repurposed:

As Steve Badger says:

"The problem is: you just can't will yourself to win -- be it a tournament, a single day's play, or even an individual hand. And then, unfortunately for some, not winning is something many players simply can't handle. And being able to not win well is a fundamental, key ingredient of being a winning player."

I'm not even sure this is something that can be taught, it has to come from within - (here he goes with Zen and the Art of Poker) - but I've just seen too many players come and go after losing and not being able to dig out of it mentally and/or emotionally. It's too easy for the downward spiral to kick in.

I think a particular strength of mine has been my persistence in using losing as opportunities for learning. I rarely have many epiphanies while the deck is hitting me in the face but I am very diligent about analyzing my play while losing.

Blame the river if you want - it won't help your game. Laugh, learn and move on is my motto. Being able to admit you played poorly is a character issue. And learning WHY you played a hand wrong is maybe even more important.

Whenever I get hit with bad runs or a big session loss, I typically blame my poor play first. This is my natural tendency after indoctrinating myself in Sklansky and the ilk - they ingrained in me the knowledge that a good player can suffer large losses - in fact, they are often unavoidable. How you handle them is the key.

I try to win more and lose less by constantly staying on top of my game. Making sure my starting hand standards aren't slipping, making sure I'm not chasing without proper pot odds, making sure my play is "correct" and not session dependant. Not letting bad beats affect me one iota. This criteria and much more (drinking) helps me keep a healthy attitude about losing.

PokerTracker has been very helpful. I wouldn't play without it.

This is probably very basic to any of you card players out there. Of course, it's smart to examine your play. But it's crucial when you've been losing.

Many years ago, I learned about (and am still learning, to some respect) about how you can start playing sloppy while losing. And I vowed to never let it happen again. It may be difficult for players to appreciate this without experiencing it for themselves.

I could truly NOT care less about individual sessions. My need is to focus not on short-term results, but on the quality of my play. I let the results take care of themselves. And it works.

Tilting. Steaming. Threshold of misery. These terms I knew as a neophyte are now the stepping stones of a solid grinder. I never could have beat the games consistently without beating those demons first.

I think back on how difficult the $50 PL games were on Pokerstars back in the day. Playing all those damn Europeans at their own game. And how I beat it month after month after month.

And then came Party Poker. Oh the humanity. Thank you, Poker Gods.

My point in starting this screed was - be smart and analyze your play. Considering is good. The answer to every poker question is, "It depends." That's all.

./end rant

Yikes, this is turning into yet another uber post. Hopefully I'll get this done in time to play this evening.

So let's run down the awesome poker links for the day. Some useful info and great blogging out there.

Here's a complete list of all the online World Poker Tour qualifiers as well as World Series of Poker satellites going on right now.
Be the next Chris MoneyMaker

For all of you SNG specialists out there, here's a must read from Steve Badger:
One Table Satellites: Sputnik Poker

The high limits at the end of satellites often lead to a pure crapshoot, a series of coin flips. No skill in that. The skill is to get to coin flip time, and either take the flips while getting excellent odds, or make a deal to take luck out of it and cut up the prize money.

Thanks to Jason over at PokerOdyssey, I re-discovered Tommy Angelo's site. Go read his articles. Excellent stuff.
Tommy Angelo

Wow, here's a top-notch post by DesignByFire about playing in a $1500 no-limit hold 'em tournament at the Bay 101 Shooting Star. At his first table was Amir Vahedi, Scotty Nguyen and Layne Flack. Yikes! Superb read.
Bubble Boy at the Bay 101 Shooting Star

When he sat down to play at 11:15 am, Layne Flack already had a Budweiser in hand. He had managed to play a rollercoaster game, raising pre-flop some 75% of the time for the hands he was dealt, and 25% of the time not even looking at his hand. Or claiming not to look, but I caught him doing so quickly a few times. Ask anyone at the table. He was in full maniac play mode

Anyone else still waiting for those hand histories from Choice Poker?

For my local readers, please go read Cardplayer's journal for yet another trip to Caesers Palace, Indiana. I may be heading there myself in a few weeks.
Yet another Glory of Rome report

I love this snippet from the above blog:

Is it me or has it gotten even MORE FISHY on Party Poker lately. I didn't think it was possible but I really think it has.

No, it's not just you, and I sure didn't think it was possible, either.

Also, anyone around Cincinnati may want to check out this satellite to the WSOP in Dayton, Ohio.
Dayton WSOP Satellite

For the record, I'm taking vacation time right around May 22nd. The prodigal son may return to Vegas, we shall see.

Anyone else besides me like flames? Well-written, smart, searing flames? Lord, I do. Go visit Paul Phillips blog and see why I miss him so damn much on RGP. He's working on a different level, one that I can only admire from a far off distance. I won't even quote it, you must go read it for yourself.
Paul Phillips Diatribe

For the record, I've tried several times to listen to the Voice of Poker's radio show, and it's always been terrible. It's been a long time, so maybe it's improved, but I doubt it.

A+ post from long-term blogger, Cards Speak. It seems that the blogging sabbatical has re-energized HDouble as he cranked out an excellent post. A must-read.

The ability to grind out 150 hands per hour online has ruined me for B&M play. I was about to hop in the car and head to the B&M, when I realized that the negatives were just too great:

1. The B&M drops $5 preflop EVERY HAND, compared to a maximum rake of $3 on Party.
2. The wait for a table ranges from 30 minutes to an hour
3. The drive can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour

Not to mention the tipping and the rake and the drinks and food and the parking and the smelly, obnoxious guy sitting next to you.

Here's an interesting nugget of info regarding the WinHoldem bot software. I was playing on Party this morning while surfing RGP. I was reading the idiot from WinHoldEm and his rationalizations about his filthy POS software when I went to check out a new page in his site. Immediately I got this alert prompt from Party Poker:

You have activated a pokerbot program that we do not allow with our software. If the program is not closed within two hands, the poker software will disconnect.

Apparently, Party looks for anything you are running in the background that contains the words WinHoldEm or whatnot, including the title tag of a web page.

Some 2+2 news: hapless webmaster, Mat Sklansky, (or or is it Mat Stalin) is still banning people left and right. It's rather comical, but that forum has been long overdue for a spring cleaning. I say kudos to Mat.

2+2 now has an IRC channel, too. It's #twoplustwo on efnet. I lurked, waiting for David Ross to appear and hold court, to no avail.

Apparently Russ Boyd was banned from PokerStars recently. MS Sunshine had this to say about Russ:

He's a scum-sucking bottom dweller that owes my wife and I $56,838 after taking the assets of PokerSpot for his new venture www.rakefree.com instead of selling them and paying us, and 1000 other players, some of the money owed by him. He also finished 12th in last year's WSOP for $80,000, but somehow never found a need to pay anyone. It is unlikely he was cheating just spamming for his new venture.

MS Sunshine

And finally, The Poker Penguin chimed in with an awesome reason why you should sign up on Empire Poker.

Empire guarantee tournaments are almost always undersubscribed at the moment. This means that it's almost like free money. Your buyin / satellite win is buying you a share of a bigger prize pool. In other words, if you are even a roughly average player, you have a positive EV in Empire's big multis. Whoops, I'm shilling again. But it is true.

Penguin also mentions the affiliate angle and blogs - quite honestly, I always feel tainted after I "shill" and it's really not worth it. But I don't really feel like I'm shilling. I'm just stating my opinion as a long-time online poker player - Party is the home of the fish. 45,000 of em. I'm not posting some shitty "Review" poker site laden with blinking banners and worthless reviews. Hell, I went to some shitty review site this weekend, PokerCritic, I think it was, and they gave Choice Poker freaking NINE OUT OF TEN STARS!

From their "site"

Service is an area where Choice poker takes a lot of pride in because their site is for the players, by the players. Their security is top notch and they are out to spot any cheating of collusion.



Plus, they only review sites that have affiliate programs. What a bunch of crap. Even if you couldn't sign up with bonus code IGGY on Party Poker, I'd still be screaming in this blog about all the terrible, terrible players at Party. And if another site takes all the fish somewhere else, down the road, I'll be pimping that site, affiliate or no affiliate.

I don't write this blog to be an affiliate whore. I think my regular readers know this. And in that vein, I saw this post on 2+2 about affiliates:

I think most people feel morally raped by an affiliate making money by just having a banner in their site without providing any other free service/help.

Exactly. And that's the only reason I DO ask that people use my code - I try to provide knowledge and interesting content to my readers. As Grubby said, it's a way to pay it forward. Sorry for the apologetics, but I've been drinking it's something I wanted to touch on.

Thanks a bunch for reading yet another verbose, rambling post.

To recap:

Party Poker > PokerStars
Paul Phillips > Voice of Poker
Bonus Code IGGY > No Bonus Code

Now I'm off to play some damn poker.

Party in My Pants
I'll admit it. There are nights that I want to feel "a little special, naughty, and very sexy." But I'm not clear on how a pair of size 34 Minnie Mouse underpants makes that happen.

All Content Copyright Iggy 2003-2007
Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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